EDITORIAL: THE SLIPPERY “SOAP” THEORY OF REP. HUNTER

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By Joseph Rocha

 

February 16, 2010 (San Diego) --On the first day of college, many new students across the country make the fatal error of trying to defend an argument on grounds of the Slippery Slope Theory. Without fail, this unfortunate bunch is met by the crushing blow of professors eager to send a message that this theory is not welcome in academia. Basic principles of logic identify the Slippery Slope Theory (a fallacy and obsolete premise to any argument) with this textbook definition: “It occurs when the conclusion of an argument rests upon the claim that a certain event will set off a chain reaction, leading in the end to some undesirable consequence, yet there is not sufficient reason to think that the chain reaction will actually take place.” (Ph.D Hurley-A Concise Approach to Logic)

 

Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. was done a great disservice in never having been taught this fundamental principle.  He has irresponsibly brought this fallacy to the forefront of the debate on whether to allow all of our troops to serve under honorable, dignified conditions via repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.

 

When a member of Congress takes a very vocal position against a proposed piece of national legislation, especially one directly affecting our men and women in uniform, it is a question of moral integrity that said member should have solid premises to defend his argument. Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr, embarrassingly, is making up his reasons as he goes.

 

Hunter Junior, a junior member of Congress, has chosen to make himself the poster child against the repeal of DADT, in opposition to the highest ranking military officers and even the most senior members of his own conservative party such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Colin Powell. Mr. Powell has the most unparalleled clout on the subject, having served not only as Secretary of State under President Bush but previously having served both as Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Advisor.

 

Junior is finding out very quickly that he can no longer survive on the playbook used by his father (formerly the largest obstructionist to repeal) playbook. In interview on CNN and NPR , he argued that:

 

• That amid two wars and rising national security threats, we should uphold a policy that has cost us 13,000 service members of our armed forces including highly critical specialist such as pilots, medics, and over 300 Arab linguists. This convoluted thinking lacks that logic we were talking about earlier.

 

• That it will affect unit cohesion when all of our allied forces assure our President that it has had no effect in their battle tested units. Ah yes, but Rep Hunter argues, “we are not Canada…we are not Great Britain..we are superior.” Touché, Congressman, that’s why 53 years ago the United States Military commissioned the Crittenden Report titled, Report of the Board Appointed to Prepare and Submit Recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy for the Revision of Policies, Procedures and Directives Dealing With Homosexuals. In 1957 this report concluded that there is, “no sound basis for the belief that homosexuals posed a security risk.” A determination echoed by the 1993 report provided by the Military favorite RANDT Institute.

• That we shouldn’t pursue “social experiments” in the US military. I suppose he is referring to strengthening our military ranks with the invaluable skill sets of our troops regardless of gender, race…and sexual preference.

 

Not to mention that this policy has been proven to be used to kick out straight women reporting sexual assault and even straight Christian men (those soldiers whose conservative values Hunter was so fearful would be offended by gay soldiers). In fact, the policy can and is used to boot out anybody who simply fails to fit a specific hetero stereotype. After all, the law doesn’t require you commit any gay act, simply show “propensity” to be ousted.

 

Morever, to maintain a policy with a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars in discharge and replacement costs while the country struggles through one of its toughest economic challenges in US history, doesn’t resonate too well with the taxpayer these days. Perhaps that funding could be better allocated to keeping our troops safe from those road side bombs.

 

When cornered by reporters on the illegitimacy of his premises, Congressman Hunter Jr. has chosen to turn on the gay men and women serving honorably in our Armed Forces and resort to homophobia.

 

He claims repealing DADT will open a Pandora’s Box, filling our military ranks with “transsexuals and hermaphrodites”. He insists that homosexuals don’t have the same discipline and moral integrity to keep them from mounting their heterosexual comrades in showers, barracks and close quarters. Setting aside the disrespectful and degrading element of this argument for just one second, the military has in place rigid policies against sexual misconduct, assault, and unbecoming behavior. We don’t need a ban on an entire gay demographic of men and women willing to give up their lives in defense of their country.

 

Rep. Eric Massa claimed Hunter is “disconnected from reality” if he believes he never had gay men serving alongside him while he was under fire in Fallujah.

 

When Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. was reined in by the CNN reporter struggling to keep the Representative on topic, she asked him the fundamental question on whether in the moment of life or death combat would a comrade telling him he was gay changes anything, the only answer he could muster was:

 

“Probably.”

 

As a U.S veteran and a faithful Catholic, I bonded with Duncan Hunter as I covered his campaign for this East County Magazine. Despite his father’s record, I was hopeful that candidate Hunter could bring a fresh young outlook and military integrity to the House. I am disheartened, as a gay man, to watch as one of our own, a brother in arms, discredits the service of gay men and women who have served valiantly since the foundation of this country. I taste bitter regret as I hear a junior member of Congress with so much potential, Rep. Duncan Hunter, campaign that gay spilled blood on the battle field has not earned my community the same basic job security and human dignity as the rest of our military men and women.


Joseph Christopher Rocha served 28 months in the Persian Gulf with the U.S. Navy, training and utilizing military working dogs to keep explosives and insurgents from entering Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently a junior at the University of San Diego.


The opinions expressed here reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.